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Do Finished Basements Count As Square Footage All Locations : Nationwide Real Estate Advice

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Showing results for Do Finished Basements Count As Square Footage [Clear search]
Thu Nov 17, 2011
Jon Ernest answered:
You could hire an architect to do it (they'll send one of their lowbies to do it so don't pay too much), and disclose it as square footage as per architects measurements....
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Mon Oct 26, 2015
Sarah answered:
Being from GA, I think I can answer honestly. Look north of mid-town to Cumming. Depending on your work/home location traffic is a big consideration. A lot of the new cities like John's Creek are very nice, in your target price range as well as good schools.
Good Luck
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Tue May 6, 2008
Donna Springer answered:
Hi Matt,
From my understanding to determine "living space" the area must be above ground level. Which is why raised ranches show up well. However, towns tend to vary on some of issues as to how to record a finished lower level. I did have the town add a bedroom and bath (in my basement) to the number of rooms but it did not change living sq. ft. Basements are included in total square footage. If you want to see how your house shows up on town records go to and go to your town and put in your street address. It will show total sq. ft and living space..

If I can be of any further help, feel free to contact me.
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Sat Nov 15, 2008
Ben Edgson answered:
Hi Jennifer,

I'm not sure how Trulia calculates, but normally basement square footage (or floors below grade) isn't included in the average price per square foot calculations. I have a good Appraiser friend who lives north of Denver and I'm sure would be happy to get you an accurate answer -- even for the specific neighborhood in which your looking. Send me an e-mail or give me a call and I'll put you in touch with him.

Take care,

Ben Edgson
Mortgage Broker
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Fri Apr 1, 2011
Michael Trinchitella answered:
Well make sure you go to the town ASAP because often those files get confusing, just when you think you found the c/o for a 2 bedroom house you then dig deeper and see there is actually a c/o for a 3 bedroom So once you do all your homework and if it still turns out to be a legal 2 bedroom and the owner is using the "den" as a bedroom then you should structure your offer based on a 2 bedroom house. Keep in mind when you sell you will have the same issue with resale it is only a 2 bedroom - so make sure you don't pay too much. ... more
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Tue Jun 30, 2009
Karen Wenzel, e-PRO answered:
This is kind of a 2-part question. Lower level finished area is less expensive to finish than adding on above grade, but it usually is not valued equally. I'm not an appraiser, so hopefully there is someone here on Trulia that can give you more accurate percentages of value.
But, if the lower level finished area will be of equal quality to your main floor, and has proper egress or an exposed lower level, you will have a more marketable home. And usually a buyer who is comparing homes - some without finished basement and some with... well usually the finished space wins out.
One thing to keep in mind, is that you won't get 100% of the cost on return, but if this is being done with the intention of it being a long-term improvement for your family's comfort, it has value to you.
Also, make sure that you aren't improving your home well above the other homes in your neighborhood.
All the Best to you and your family
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Fri Sep 14, 2007
Mr.P answered:
You can only measure Length and With
Example the Bonus room is 12x10
Good Luck
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Thu Apr 19, 2012
Patti Pereyra answered:
Hi Steve, I think it will largely depend on your planning department for your particular area.

I do know that for habitable living space to be included in total sq. footage, it has to meet certain requirements, such as ceiling height, ventilation, windows, etc. And don't forget that additional sq. footage will affect your property taxes.... how would this affect the sale of your home compared to others in its area?

Because I don't know the market in your area, I can't say how valuable basements are to the consumer there, and whether or not it would be a wise investment v. paying down the principal. I'm sure somebody here will be able to address that part of the question.

In the meantime, this previousTrulia thread has many answers regarding the sq. footage issue, with the top one being pretty accurate. Hope this helps:
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Thu Aug 30, 2012
Deborah Madey answered:
This varies slightly according to geography. I am not in NY, so please factor a margin for that in this answer.

Square feet would include everything above grade, and not a basement or attic. It would include hallways and bathrooms on the main floor. An appraiser generally measures the exterior of the main floor of the house as his/her starting point in determining square footage.

In some MLSs, a bedroom in a finished basement may not be counted in the total bedroom count. In other MLSs. such could be counted. I have heard of areas where finished basements that had a full walk-out could be included in the square footage for MLS purposes.

In NJ, many of our listings are absent a square footage count, because many of our homes are older. If the square footage is available from the tax assessor, agents will input that number. Calculaitons can vary slightly and for that reason, many agents will not provide a total square footage, but provide each individual room measurement.

An attic which has been completely finished for living space with permits can be counted as living space and included in the total square footage.
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Tue Jan 7, 2014
Carole Cohen answered:
Our computer listing rules (MLS) do not allow us to do that in NE Ohio. I will be curious to see if it is allowed in Birmingham.
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